It is no secret that as we age we have to be more careful about falling or injuring ourselves. We don’t heal as quickly as we did when we were younger. This is particularly true when it comes to broken bones. Calcium, and vitamin D to help absorb it, is a major recommendation for people as they get older to try to keep their bones strong and to prevent osteoporosis. There is new research from Ray Lane of Reuters, however, that suggests that slower healing of broken bones among the elderly may not be a problem with their bones but rather with their blood.
An experiment published in Nature Communications has shown that old bones heal quickly when they are exposed to young blood. In an experiment that would make an animal rights advocate recoil, two mice, one young and one old, were essentially sewn together. This enabled the blood of the young mouse to mix with that of the older mouse. It was then observed that bone fractures in the old mouse healed more quickly than they otherwise would have. All scientists need to do now is isolate the exact nature of the molecules in young blood that are absent from old blood that give it these healing properties. Perhaps this will someday lead to a shot for the elderly that contains this substance, which will then speed up healing of any injuries.